RIO DE JANEIRO, Oct. 18 (Xinhua) -- Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff on Thursday vetoed some articles of a new forest law approved by the congress months ago.
Environment Minister Izabella Teixeira called the Forest Code "an amnesty to deforesters" and explained that the president was trying to protect the forests.
"The president has vetoed a series of articles which would probably unbalance the relations between social development and environment protection," said Teixeira.
The original law dictates that there is no need to replant deforested areas near river banks. With the veto, river banks will have to be reforested depending on the width of the river and the size of the property developed.
There is a widespread debate on the law and the vetoes between the government and the opposition, as well as between environmentalists and land owners.
Several congressmen protested the vetoes, and opposition Democrats Party said they will bring the matter to the Supreme Court.
Environmentalists, calling the new Forest Code a regression from the previous one, also vow to bring the issue to the Supreme Court -- they want the entire code to be repealed.
Kenzo Juca, an official with the World Wildlife Fund, told a Brazilian newspaper that his organization hopes the court could thoroughly analyze the country's environmental situation and rule the case with justice.